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Your Best Year Yet!: Ten Questions for Making the Next Twelve Months Your Most Successful Ever Paperback – January 1, 2000

4.7 out of 5 stars 52 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Originally published in the U.K. in 1994, this excellent guide to setting and accomplishing goals for personal and professional success originated in workshops the author has been teaching for 25 years. Ditzler offers a clear, concise and thorough "framework" for defining values, identifying important roles and prioritizing and focusing energy where it "will make the most difference to you." Beginning with an annual life review, she moves on through learning from the past, changing "limiting paradigms" to "empowering" ones, setting "value-driven goals" and being your own personal coach. Through a series of questions, Ditzler creates numerous writing and list-making projects designed to uncover an overall life "vision" or "mission," and to "focus your power in a laserlike way" to accomplish "little steps" that will lead toward it. While goal setting and planning for daily, weekly and yearly objectives is now typical in both personal and professional self-help projects, Ditzler offers a deep understanding of some of the internal and external obstacles to the reaching of these goals, and provides commonsense advice for overcoming those obstacles. She also suggests that some frequently made and unmet goals (ideal weight, for example) should be abandoned, to be replaced by others that are fresher and more healthy and realistic. With New Year's Day and its attendant resolutions approaching fast, readers may take to this title in an exuberant way.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"PROVIDES COMMONSENSE ADVICE....EXCELLENT".

-- Publishers Weekly

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (January 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446667846
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446667845
  • ASIN: 0446675474
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #150,153 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Having read many self improvement/leadership effectiveness books, this was the first book to truly enable me to make the transformation from cognitive understanding to behavioral change. The book is an easy, engaging read with many real life examples. The step by step process goes beyond traditional goal setting. The reader can immediately apply the concepts to their personal life and move themselves into action. Upon completing the work pages in the book I had a personal strategic plan for making my next 12 months my "Best Year Yet." It was a fun, energizing experience.
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Format: Paperback
Favorite quote:

"Everyone should know the feeling of overcoming fear and mastering something. People who aren't taught that become soggy."

-Katherine Hepburn

Five years ago, I picked up this book on a whim for about six pounds in Mysteries bookshop near Seven Dials in London. Shortly before new year's eve, I got together with a few friends and went through the ten questions listed on the back cover of the book, creating in the process a one-page "Best Year Yet" plan.

Not only was the next year my best year yet, I have repeated the process every December since, (sometimes on my own, sometimes with friends), and each passing year has once again become my "best year yet".

Last year for the first time my business partner and I sat down and did the process for our then suffering enterprise; suffice it to say that despite the occasional hiccup, our bank manager is once again our friend!

The author is also an executive coach, and while many of the models she uses are not original, (she borrows particularly heavily from Steven Covey's seven habits), they are universally useful and occasionally reap (for me) surprising results. Despite the interesting stories, examples, and insights, this is far more of a "doing" book than a "reading" book, and it includes a complete do it youself Best Year Yet workshop in the back.

Beyond highly recommended!
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Format: Paperback
This book is dedicated to Goal Setting. The key concept here is to identify the key roles you play (or would like to) in life, rate your performance on each and then plan the year forward to succeed in each of these areas. The author provides a useful structure to approach goal-setting.

While a `role driven' method of goal-setting is a useful approach (and certainly novel to me), I felt it somewhat limiting to someone who is not new to this area. For example, one of my goals for the year is to do yoga twice a week. I would have to view one of my roles as that of a `yogi' to set a goal for yoga. And labelling myself `yogi' is a stretch - pun unintentional. But the role-based goal setting is a useful complement to regular goal-setting exercises.

That said, the self-assessment chart of how one performs in various roles provides a compelling visual and is a vivid motivator for change. The course / book is structured such that it leads to a single page of goals.

The commentary accompanying the exercises is occasionally verbose and perhaps even tedious. The points however are useful and the book would benefit from distilling questions / issues that lead to meaningful answers. The author has a wealth of knowledge, accumulated by conducting goal-setting seminars and talking to many hundreds of participants. This can be organized in a better way.

The entire effort took more than 3 hours (more than 6 for me) that the author promises - time well spent. Some exercises require reflection / self-awareness particularly when responding to questions such as `list the key values you uphold, in order of importance'.

Overall, for someone who is not familiar with goal-setting, this book provides a very useful process to goal-setting. For compulsive goal-setters this book offers interesting and different a viewpoint, which will undoubtedly strengthen the goal-setting process.
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By A Customer on January 8, 2003
Format: Paperback
This is, thankfully, not one of those "find the light" self-help books. In fact, it is so grounded in reality, that you can feel a little annoyed with yourself after doing some of the exercises. What you discover, reading this book, are mostly things you already knew. The genius lies in the order in which the author has presented the questions, so you have serveal sequential "aha" moments throughout. The book shows you how to learn your own lessons. Occasionally there are pricelss tidbits, which, taken out of context, might seem trite. But she delivers them right in the middle of the relevant exercise, where your brain is forming that exact recognition by itself, and then BAM she hits you with a one liner which brings it all together, and you think "yeah!".
It took me well over the suggested 3 hours to complete the exercises, although I did it progressively as I read each chapter. While not "ground-breaking" this book is definitely "life-changing". In hindsight, I knew this stuff already. I just couldn't seem to do anything about it, and this book offered the clarity and direction I needed. I will use this book every year.
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Format: Paperback
In exactly the way the author claims, this book has really helped me improve my life over the last 12 months. The strength of this book is its powerful simplicity. Many of the ideas, suggestions and techniques can be found elsewhere in many other popular self-help writings, but Jinny Ditzler's approach inspires action almost effortlessly. Compared to other similar books, it is almost impossible to read this without making at least one or two of her lists which then empowers you to make positive life changes.
A criticism might be that it is fairly basic stuff that we know already, but answering the various lists of questions here brings new clarity and confidence about what is going on, or not going on, in one's life. Parts one and two are preparation for "the ten best year yet questions" in part three. These are basically all about looking honestly at your life, seeing clearly what works and what doesn't, then setting clear and specific goals in different areas over the next 12 months.
If, like me, you are someone who loves reading these kind of books but finds that it often seems to take rather a lot of hard work to put the ideas into practice, I recommend Your Best Year Yet! Inevitably I did not achieve some of my goals for the last 12 months, but the considerable improvements I did make (plus increased clarity about goals for the future) were partly due to getting a realistic focus from this book.
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